Popular priest behind atrocity that even IRA was ashamed of

Popular priest behind atrocity that even IRA was ashamed of

RUC believed Fr James Chesney played major part in 1972 Claudy bomb massacre that left nine dead

So read the headline in a ‘Belfast Telegraph article marking the 50th anniversary of the infamous ‘Claudy Bombing’ by an IRA gang, led, it is commonly believed, by a Roman Catholic priest, one James Chesney.

Claudy bombing aftermath

Had this been an incident in which a loyalist terror group, led by a Protestant minister, set off three car bombs which resulted in the murder of 9 people and the injuring of 30, then the headlines and the general reaction would have been very different indeed.

The Pope would have appeared on his balcony to conduct the chorus of hatred and propaganda against Ulster Protestants. The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland in company with the ecumenical churches, would have most diligently joined in this world-wide cry. The Westminster Government would have been on its knees in commiseration and a weeping prime minister would have offered his deepest sympathies along with £millions in compensation.

Most importantly, to a man, God-fearing Ulster Protestants would have outrightly condemned such an act for it has no place in Bible Protestantism!

As it was, things turned out very differently.

The Roman Catholic Cardinal, aided by the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the Northern Ireland Office conspired together to conceal the truth regarding the priest’s involvement in the mass murder. He was quickly and quietly moved to Donegal and out of the judicial jurisdiction of the laws operating in Northern Ireland and he was never brought to justice even though, as is now acknowledged, the police knew he was the the IRA’s director of operations in south Derry!

See the Wikipedia article about the Claudy Bombing here.

Such an event has never had the attention given to it that any of the atrocities against the Roman Catholic community has received. But Claudy, like the Poppy Day bombing in Enniskillen and others, has seen no one brought to court for the dreadful crime.

Nor indeed, has there been that decree of repugnance directed against the Roman Catholic Church and its adherents, who continued to support Sinn Fein/IRA and its many further terrorist atrocities, that such a wickedness deserved.

Here is the report.

Sincerely in Christ’s name,

Ivan Foster

Popular priest behind atrocity that even IRA was ashamed of

Suzanne Breen

RUC believed Fr James Chesney played major part in 1972 Claudy bomb massacre that left nine dead

Suzanne Breen

July 28 2022 10:32 PM

A charismatic country cleric with a penchant for poker and sports cars, Father James Chesney was a priest who, it is alleged, literally got away with murder.

A Police Ombudsman’s report outlines how the RUC believed he was the IRA’s director of operations in south Derry and was directly and indirectly linked to the 1972 Claudy bombing in which nine people died.

A curate in Cullion, near Desertmartin, he was never brought in for questioning.

Father James Chesney (PA)

The aftermath of the Claudy attack in which nine people died

Chesney’s father John, a Protestant, worked in the loyalist Upperlands in Co Derry but converted to Catholicism after meeting his future wife Mary Ann.

Nobody remembers ever seeing Chesney with his parents, but he was regularly in the company of his wealthy aunt and uncle, Willie and Betty Noon. Former civil rights leader and SDLP founder, the late Ivan Cooper, recalled: “They arrived at my house in a bright red Mercedes. She was dripping with furs and waving a long cigarette holder. The Noons had no children. Fr Chesney was like a son to them.”

Cooper spoke of the priest “haring along country roads in his sports car”.